It’s nearly 2010 and, like many, you’ve probably set one or more New Year’s resolutions. A popular resolution for millions of people each year, is to drop a few pounds and get a little more fit. Like a large percentage of people who set out to do this, going about it in the wrong way could lead to failure.
Accountability is a great way to stay on track and meet your goals. That’s where DailyBurn comes in — to help you monitor, track and meet your fitness, and even nutrition, goals. Believe me when I say, graphs can be a powerful tool for motivation and a centralized location for exercise and nutritional information can make the difference between reaching your goals or failing miserably. DailyBurn takes care of all this and offers a lot more.
Today we’ll take a look at DailyBurn’s offerings and how you can use them to reach a successful New Year’s fitness resolution and more.
Heading over to DailyBurn.com, we’ll see a nice, clean and modern design welcoming us to join the fun.
Signup is simple and straight forward with some nice, instant form validation touches.
We’re immediately taken to our “Locker Room” where we can start tracking weight change, nutrition stats and workout logs. The page includes a helpful welcoming message with instructions on what to do next, including a “getting started” screencast. Farther down the page we have latest activity, journal entry, exercise and nutrition status, goals and finally a touch of social media implementation.
Watch the “getting started” screencast for an easy introduction to the site and steps to get your account setup.
Now that we’ve signed up, we need to get started by filling out our profile information. Farther down the page we can change privacy and email settings as well as connect to Twitter to share info. like meeting goals and completing workouts.
At the top right of the page you’ll see an “Edit Your Profile” link accompanied by the percentage you’ve completed within parenthesis. Clicking this link will bring up a list of tasks to complete your profile setup. Simply complete each task by clicking each link. As you can see in screenshot below, I still need to setup a workout program and calorie goals.
Navigating to the Workout tab, we’ll setup our workout program. We have three options at this point, to find — a predefined workout, setup our own custom workout or just jump straight into tracking exercise stats. I’m going to go ahead and select a predefined workout program. The selection process for this is very user friendly and intuitive.
Setting up your calorie goals will likely make you feel like they’re getting a little personal, and they are. However, it’s necessary that you be truthful and accurate so they can provide you with the best information possible to fit your body.
Logging and Tracking
I’ve tried a few workout and nutrition tracking applications and I’ve never been happy with any of them. Many of them aren’t very intuitive, take too much effort or don’t do what I want them to do. DailyBurn, however, makes this incredibly simple. They’ve taken the time to design an interface that requires very few clicks, yet is intuitive and includes the flexibility you might want.
To quickly log weight changes, food you’ve eaten or workout updates, you simply select the appropriate “Daily Action” button in your “Locker Room”.
In less than five minutes I was able to log my weight changes over the last week, today and yesterday’s meals and my last two workouts. So a normal day of logging should only take a minute or two!
Your “Locker Room” is your home page for quick access to logging your information and viewing your progress.
When it comes to tracking what I eat, it must be easy and convenient or I won’t use it. Period. Clicking the “Track Nutrition” button in your locker room will take you to the Nutrition tab. From here you’ll be able to see an overview of your goals, calorie breakdown, food log and even a super simple (and convenient) water tracker.
Logging individual meals or snacks can be time consuming and frustrating. As with everything else so far, DailyBurn built this part of the system to be as easy as everything else. Enter food using the “Search Foods” form (shown above) or using your list of favorite foods (once you’ve saved them).
The Food Search lists (each optionally) results from USDA foods, foods you’ve created and foods created by other users. I’ve searched for eggs and clicked the “+ I ate this” button. Next I’ll enter the number of servings, day and which meal of the day it is for. Click Submit and your calories are instantly updated and displayed inline.
Logging workout exercises works essentially the same as logging your daily meals. Search for the exercise(s) you performed to see a list of matching results. The results also include demonstration videos or images if you’re looking for exercises for your next workout.
Select the exercise(s) matching what you completed during your workout and click “Submit My Progress”. Fill in the exercise stats from your workout and the difficulty level you felt it was.
For an ad-free experience (among other additional features), you can upgrade to a pro account.
Then you’ll see information on the exercise you completed along with a progress graph and performance log. This information is also updated on the main Workouts page.
Beyond the Basics
DailyBurn provides a clean, fresh and intuitive interface that isn’t overwhelming or scary for beginners. The site doesn’t require tons of information to get started either, but there’s also an advanced side of the site for those of you who would like to get more involved. This includes public or private challenges, motivators (people), iPhone applications , WiFi enabled weight scales and iGoogle Gadgets.
DailyBurn does a great job of implementing social media into the site as well. They make it easy for you to share your progress via Twitter, their forums or elsewhere. Many people tend to shy away from combining fitness progress and sharing but it’s a powerful (and addicting) tool to help keep you on track or help you find information.
DailyBurn clearly stays up to date with technology and does a fantastic job of keeping their users in mind, first and foremost. The site is intuitive in just about every aspect and gives you the ability to spend time reaching your goals, instead of slaving away logging and stat tracking. The features they provide will help you reach your goals and keep you on track.
Tips for Success
- Consistency is key
- Don’t overwhelm yourself, start out slow and ease into things
- Use the technology (like DailyBurn) that surrounds you to your advantage
- Find a workout partner
- Don’t be intimidated by other people in the gym, they’re there for the same reason you are
- Remember that the most rewarding accomplishments require hard work, but they’re incredibly rewarding!